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Rick Shadyac greets runners at the 2017 Memphis Marathon.

Holiday blessings

ALSAC President and CEO Richard C. Shadyac Jr. gives thanks for how your support makes a difference in the lives of St. Jude patients and families.

As we celebrate the holiday season with loved ones, I am reminded of the many blessings that all of you bring to the patients and families of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Your caring hearts, your commitment, your dedication and your generosity are, quite truly, unsurpassed and mean the world to the children and families who turn to St. Jude for hope and healing after a diagnosis of cancer or another life-threatening disease.

I recently had the honor of seeing those blessings come to life on a remarkable and beautiful December day in Memphis, when 25,000 people took to the streets during the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude. These are people just like you — they came from 49 states and from around the world to participate in one of the races of this special day, bringing with them their passion for the mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is incredibly moving to view this sea of caring individuals as they fill the streets, taking step after step for St. Jude.


More than 25,000 people took to the streets during the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude.

But what was especially humbling to me this year was the incredible participation of those closest to the St. Jude mission. More than 800 participants were a St. Jude patient or a family member. More than 140 of our St. Jude Heroes® teams were made up of St. Jude patients and their families.

Patients like Daniel, who took his first baby steps as a patient at St. Jude and returned this year as a young man to run his first marathon. Or Adam, whose fundraising team Adam’s Army has now raised more than $500,000 for St. Jude. Or Chandler, a high-school student not long out of treatment who made good on last year’s promise to run the half marathon in 2017.

But you should know that each and every one of you crossed that finish line on Dec. 2 with Daniel and Adam and Chandler – and with every St. Jude patient and their family. Even if you weren’t in Memphis on that inspiring day, your support makes the lifesaving research of St. Jude possible; your generosity ensures the very best in patient care and treatment.

This holiday season, we celebrate the blessing that you are a part of our St. Jude family. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you do for St. Jude, and I wish you the very best in the coming new year.

ALSAC President and CEO Richard J. Shadyac Jr. takes part in the Memphis Marathon

ALSAC President and CEO Richard J. Shadyac Jr. was one of the 25,000 runners during the Memphis Marathon Weekend, running alongside St. Jude patients like Chandler (featured left in the white cap).


You, too, can make a difference for St. Jude kids.

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